Rick Spielman ranked as one of the NFL’s top 10 general managers

(Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Leigh Steinberg ) Rick Spielman
(Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Leigh Steinberg ) Rick Spielman /

NFL Media’s Gregg Rosenthal recently ranked the league’s general managers and the guy in the front office for the Minnesota Vikings was near the top.

The current offseason will likely be a defining one for Rick Spielman. Since becoming the general manager of the Minnesota Vikings in 2012, Spielman has made a few offseason splashes, but none were really like what went down this year.

With the help of their general manager, the Vikings were able to add two top tier free-agents to their 2018 roster in quarterback Kirk Cousins and defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson. If anything, these two moves indicate how serious Minnesota is about getting the franchise its first ever Super Bowl win in 2018.

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Recently, NFL Media’s Gregg Rosenthal published a piece in which he ranked the league’s general managers heading into the upcoming season. Spielman ended up with the number eight slot.

Rosenthal explained why he felt the Vikings’ general manager deserved to be ranked inside the top 10.

"“Spielman is a survivor. He survived a rocky ending with the Dolphins, then hung in as de facto GM in Minnesota for six years before getting the official title in 2012, with the Vikings making five playoff appearances along the way. The roster is overstuffed with home-grown talent and strategic free-agent scores like Linval Joseph and Riley Reiff. Spielman’s first true coaching hire, Mike Zimmer, has provided the team with a clear direction over the past four seasons. Spielman created the salary-cap flexibility to sign Kirk Cousins after making the franchise attractive enough to lure the quarterback in. Most GMs would be waylaid after losing their franchise quarterback, but the way he responded to Teddy Bridgewater’s career-altering knee injury in 2016 only highlighted Spielman’s resourcefulness.” Minnesota Vikings The Viking Age 0d - 6 biggest draft steals in Minnesota Vikings history More headlines around FanSided: 1d - Former Vikings first-round pick could reportedly return to NFC North 1d - Bears analyst has extremely embarrassing Kirk Cousins take 1d - 6 Vikings who (maybe) won't make the 53-man roster in 2023 2d - Which teams could be drafting a quarterback next year? 2d - Predicting what the Vikings will do in the 2023 NFL Draft based on 2022 More News at The Viking Age"

It sounds like Rosenthal is pretty impressed with the work Spielman has done for Minnesota in the recent past. But then why rank him lower than Denver Broncos general manager John Elway (seventh) or Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff (fifth)?

Yes, the Broncos have made two Super Bowl appearances since Elway became the team’s general manager in 2012, but a lot of that success had to do with the play of quarterback Peyton Manning. Since Manning retired in 2016, Denver hasn’t been back to the postseason.

And yes, the Falcons have experienced success in the past two seasons with Dimitroff as their general manager (including one trip to the Super Bowl). But he also had the position from 2013 to 2015 when they didn’t even sniff the playoffs.

During his tenure as the Vikings’ general manager, Spielman has had to deal with eight different quarterbacks starting at least one game, Adrian Peterson missing the majority of the 2014 season due to a suspension, Teddy Bridgewater suffering a career-altering knee injury in 2016, and a head coaching change.

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Despite all of this, Spielman was still able to construct rosters that were good enough to win two NFC North titles and make the playoffs in three of the last six seasons. Apparently his recent work still wasn’t good enough for Rosenthal to rank him a little higher this year.